…as India’s Modi, writes Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has told West African leaders to exert pressure on the military leadership in Mali to ensure that the transition process in the country is not aborted.
The President, who faulted the United Nation (UN)’s decision to expel foreign fighters in Libya without consultation with the leadership of the West African region, said this in a speech he delivered Saturday at the 59th Ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in Accra, Ghana.
Buhari also urged the leadership in the sub-region to get their citizens vaccinated and continue to observe non pharmaceutical protocols warning against the possibility of the third wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the ECOWAS member states.
According to a release by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, the President, while speaking on the need to ensure that Mali returns to democratic rule, said: ”While democracy continues to develop in our sub-region, recent events in Mali are sad reminders that vigilance remains a crucial imperative to protect people’s aspirations to freely choose the form of Government they want.
“Pressures are needed to ensure that the transition process in Mali, which is half-way to its conclusion, is not aborted. A further slide in Mali could prove catastrophic to the Sub-region, considering that about half of that country is unfortunately under the grip of terrorists.”
He appealed to the military leadership in Mali to understand the critical state of their country cautioning them not to perpetuate acts that would facilitate the destabilization and destruction of their country.
Buhari urged the ECOWAS member states to remain engaged with all stakeholders in Mali, through Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan, whom he congratulated for his untiring contributions encouraging him to sustain the efforts
Commenting on the UN’s decision to expel all foreign fighters in Libya without first ensuring that they are disarmed and collaboration with regional stakeholders,
Buhari said: ”While this action was aimed at bringing about sustenance of peace in Libya, non-collaboration with regional stakeholders on this critical decision, has now created newer threats to peace, security and stability in the region, which could lead to lack of coordinated management of huge humanitarian crisis across the Sahel, North, Central and West Africa, including the Lake Chad region.”
In his capacity as the ECOWAS champion on the fight against COVID-19, Buhari also drew attention to the need for more citizens in the region to be vaccinated, stressing that adherence to other non-pharmaceutical interventions must not be jettisoned.
He said the West African region was in the grip of a third wave, warning against complacency in national and regional initiatives to address the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has written his Nigerian counterpart highlighting the usefulness of Yoga in the fight against COVID-19.
According to a release by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, Friday, the letter commemorated the World Yoga Day billed to be celebrated on Monday.
It stressed the health benefits of the practice particularly in boosting immunity and helping recovery from COVID-19.
“In the midst of this monumental challenge, our COVID-19 warriors have waged a remarkable fight against the pandemic. While the threat of the pandemic remains, there have been positive developments since the last International Day of Yoga. In addition to various treatment protocols, scientific understanding about the virus, we now also have several vaccines to protect our people from the pandemic.
Vaccination drives are underway in several nations, including India. I remain optimistic that humanity shall overcome the pandemic very soon,” the letter said.